When it comes to stains, none are as stubborn and hard to get out of clothes as ones made by grease and oil. Whether you’re dealing with cooking oil, car grease, or any type of oil-based sauce, it is vital to have a strong detergent at hand to ensure the staining isn’t permanent.
But how do you know which laundry detergent is the best pick when there are so many options out there? And are the detergents truly suitable for all stains, as the manufacturers claim? The article answers these questions for you and offers you a list of the best detergents to try out. Read on!
Why Are Oil and Grease Stains So Hard to Get Out?
Grease and oil stains are particularly stubborn due to their structure. Namely, they are made of lipid molecules. These molecules are insoluble in water, and they also cling to cloth fibers as soon as they get in contact with them.
For the stain to be removed, you must use a solution strong enough to break the bonds between the molecules and the fibers. Such detergents usually contain different alcohols, baking soda, bio-enzymes, and other similar ingredients. So, those are some of the ingredients you should look for in a good laundry detergent to get rid of these stains.
Oil and Grease Stain Laundry Detergents: Buying Guide
Apart from the ingredients listed above, there are a few more factors you need to consider when choosing your laundry detergent. Here are some of them:
The Type of Oil or Grease
Typically, cooking and massage oil are much easier to get out of fabric than, for example, car grease. So, it can be useful to know what caused the stain. For cooking oil, milder detergents might be enough, while car grease will require something a bit stronger.
Type of Fabric
Of course, it also matters what fabric the stain is on. For example, cotton and linen will not require the same care as lighter and more delicate fabrics such as lace or silk. Thus, check the washing instructions for your fabric carefully and choose the detergent accordingly.
The Type of Detergent
Nowadays, there are four detergent types you can choose from. These include powders, liquid detergents, pods, and strips. Most manufacturers make all four, and which one you will get depends mostly on your preferences and habits. However, there are some differences between them that you should be aware of.
Powders are, for example, the cheapest option. Liquids are the best for extremely stubborn or old stains, as you can pretreat the fabric with the detergent before washing it. Pods and strips are the priciest, but they provide good results, as well. So, check your budget and see what fits it best before making any decisions.
Your Washing Machine
Nowadays, there are two types of washing machines: standard and high-efficiency (HE) ones. Standard machines are older, and they use more water than their HE counterparts. Standard machines are exclusively top-loaders, while HE are both top- and front-loading.
When it comes to laundry detergent, you can use virtually any detergent in standard machines. However, if you have a HE machine, you will need to buy detergent that is specifically for HE washing. You should find this indicated on most laundry detergent bottles and packages.
The Best Laundry Detergent for Grease and Oil: Our Picks
Now that you know what to think about when looking for a great laundry detergent for grease and oil stains, it is time to check out what the market has to offer. Without further ado, here are the best detergents you can try out.
1. Permatex 22340 Fast Orange Grease X Mechanic’s Laundry Detergent, 40 Fl Oz
Apart from being great at removing grease and oil stains, this Permatex detergent also eliminates fuel, oil, and exhaust odors from fabrics. This liquid detergent is perfect for pretreating heavily stained laundry. It will do a fantastic job of keeping the grease and oil from sticking to your washer as well.
- Removes and helps repel automotive stains and soils
- Eliminates fuel, oil, and exhaust odors
- Pretreat stained area by pouring a small amount of...
- Keeps washer clean of grease and oil
While this detergent is great for removing any type of grease, it is tailored specifically to deal with automotive grease and fuel stains. It can do so thanks to a unique blend of enzymes, surface-active agents, builders, and additives that it contains.
Since this detergent is made for a mechanic’s laundry, it might be a bit too expensive for regular households. However, if you need something strong and don’t mind the price, you can use it even if you don’t have such hard stains. It can be used both in standard and HE machines, and it is available in liquid form only.
2. Tide 10X Heavy Duty Liquid Laundry Detergent, 69 Fl Oz
In the world of detergents, Tide is a company that rarely misses. This liquid detergent is a big hit on Amazon, and it is easy to see why.
- #1 stain remover (Tide Heavy Duty liquid among liquid...
- Formulated to fight set-in stains, caked-on dirt and...
- Designed for impossible stains like grease, oil, red...
- Tide Heavy Duty 10X cleaning power (Stain Removal of 1...
Tide has formulated this detergent to fight all set-in stains and strong odors. It is specifically good for stains from grease, oil, blood, red wine, or smoke. This formula is so strong that it has 10 times the cleaning power of most other detergents in the same price and quality range.
The detergent contains biodegradable surfactants and enzymes that facilitate cleaning. So, it is suitable both for harder stains and milder ones. The ingredients also help soften and purify the water, making the whole washing process even more efficient.
One 69 Fl Oz bottle is enough for 72 loads of laundry, although you can use the detergent to pretreat stains as well. The detergent is cost-effective and offers a fantastic price to value ratio.
3. Tide Hygienic Clean Heavy 10x Duty Power PODS Laundry Detergent Pacs For Visible and Invisible Dirt
If your stains are mainly from car grease but you still want to use Tide products, their Heavy Duty pods might be exactly what you need. These pods are perfect for larger loads of laundry, and they can help clean caked dirt and any other impossible stains.
- Removes visible and invisible dirt with the help of 10...
- Innovative laundry capsule technology gets between the...
- Equipped with 50% more cleaning power vs. Tide Liquid
- Provides a deep, hygienic clean even in case of large...
The pods dissolve completely, regardless of the temperature of the water or type of washing machine you use. They are the most eco-friendly choice you can make, as they have almost no impact on the environment.
However, you should only get these pods if you have huge loads of laundry that need deep cleaning. With pods, you cannot adjust the amount of detergent you use, so you’d be wasting the detergent on smaller loads. You also need to consider your budget, as pods are always pricier than other detergent types.
As always, it is best to keep any detergent away from children and pets. However, it is especially important to do so with pods, as they are colorful, small, and easy to swallow. So, keep them locked or safe on a high shelf, and you’ll be safe.
4. Ultra Fresh Platinum Original Blue HE Liquid Laundry Detergent
Ultra Fresh is another great brand for laundry detergents. Its liquid options are some of the best on the market, especially when it comes to treating oil and grease stains. Apart from that, it also preserves the color of your laundry and makes it look brand new.
- ✅Ultra- fresh laundry detergent is formulated to...
- ✅This product does not contain any harmful...
- ✅Available in a sturdy and considerably sized 5...
- ✅Its sizeable packaging makes it an economical choice...
The detergent contains no harmful chemicals such as bleach or phosphates, and it has a refreshing scent that you will love. The package comes with a dispenser pump that makes using it seamless. The pump also ensures you always use just enough of the detergent for a single wash.
You can use the detergent both in a standard and a HE machine. It is an affordable choice in the long term, especially when you consider how many loads you can do from a single package (up to 640). However, it might prove to be a bit too pricey in the short term if you can’t really afford to give that much money at once.
Some users have reported that the pump that comes with the detergent leaks. So, it is essential that you follow all the instructions on the package and install it properly. That way, it won’t break or leak.
5. Persil ProClean Power-Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original Scent
If you need a cost-effective detergent for common oil and grease stains, Persil’s ProClean is the way to go. For just $10 for a 32-load bottle, you get an effective stain remover you will come back to time and time again.
- Powerful detergent for an exceptional deep clean
- Great for everyday laundry and to fight tough stains
- Also available in convenient, pre-measured Persil DISCS...
- Persil ProClean laundry detergents have been optimized...
This German formula contains stain-fighting enzymes that make it perfect for removing oil and grease stains. In addition, the enzymes help brighten your laundry (especially whites) and soften the water in the washer. You can use it in any washing machine.
What many people find the most appealing when it comes to this detergent is its refreshing scent. It is fully natural and mild, and it lacks the chemical nature most detergents have.
Though this detergent is quite effective in removing most oil stains, it might not be enough if you work as a mechanic. For such hard stains, you will probably be better off with one of the picks above. But for everyday use at home, you can’t go wrong with Persil.
6. ARM & HAMMER Clean Burst, 140 Loads Liquid Laundry Detergent
Arm & Hammer mixes this liquid detergent with its trusted washing soda for maximum effectiveness. This detergent is a good choice if you’re looking for something truly affordable. Namely, you can get a 1.6-gallon bottle of the detergent for just $8.
- POWERFULLY CLEAN, NATURALLY FRESH: The deep-cleaning...
- CLEAN BURST SCENT LEAVES LAUNDRY SMELLING FRESH AND...
- CLEAN RINSE WITH LOW-SUDS FORMULA: Works on tough...
- WORKS IN ALL MACHINES & ALL TEMPERATURES: Designed to...
This company uses a unique mix of ingredients that extract dirt from fabric effectively. They also do a great job extracting odors and keeping your laundry soft, even after years of washing.
All the dirt that the detergent extracts from your clothes doesn’t end up in your washer. Rather, it gets trapped in the water molecules and goes out of your washing machine safely. The detergent is fully safe for the environment, and you can use it both in HE and standard machines.
If you want to save money and energy and only wash your clothes using cold water, this detergent will be a great choice. Though most options need hot water to be fully effective, A&H detergents work best in colder temperatures.
7. Charlie’s Soap Laundry Liquid (50 Loads, 1 Pack) Natural Deep Cleaning Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent
This laundry detergent is the best eco-friendly option on the market. It has no impact on the environment and is fully non-toxic. It works great with all fabric types, no matter how soft or delicate they might be.
- ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING POWER: Concentrated Laundry...
- HYPOALLERGENIC: Non-toxic washing soda and powerful,...
- CLOTH DIAPER FRIENDLY: This detergent is safe to use on...
- LESS IS MORE: Each bottle contains just four...
Charlie’s Soap Laundry Liquid is perfect for those with sensitive skin. The formula ensures there is no irritation and that even those with allergies can safely use the clothes washed with the detergent. If you have a newborn or toddler, this detergent is a great choice as well, as it is excellent for washing cloth diapers and baby clothes.
However, you should not let the softness of the detergent fool you. It is still highly concentrated and will clean all grease and oil stains efficiently. The detergent creates no suds, but it cleans all fabrics well. This option proves that less is more, as it contains just four natural ingredients but is one of the most effective picks on this list.
The only thing people have complained about is the fact that the cleaner is fragrance-free. However, when you consider the fact that it is hypoallergenic, that makes more than enough sense.
8. Boardwalk BWKHURACAN40 Low Suds Industrial Powder Laundry Detergent, Fresh Lemon Scent, 40lb Pail
As its name suggests, this option is a powder detergent with industrial strength. You can use it in any type of washer, but it is made for HE ones. It creates little to no suds but cleans all stains thoroughly after a single wash.
- Low suds laundry detergent
- Economical choice
- Powder has a fresh lemon scent
- Applicable material: clothing
Since you only need a few spoonfuls of the detergent per laundry load, this 40-pound package will last you for quite a long time. Whether you’re dealing with car grease, spaghetti sauce stains, or massage oil that you simply cannot get out of your shirt, this detergent will have you covered. Apart from cleaning stains well, this detergent will also give your clothes a refreshing lemon scent.
Users say that this detergent is the best choice for larger households where the washer is constantly on. It is the most affordable choice, yet it is just as effective as some more famous brands.
The only issue with powdered detergents in general is the fact that they could clog up your pipes after continuous use. To avoid this, run another rinse circle with clean water after washing your laundry, and you’ll be good.
9. Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost 32 Ounces, Laundry Stain, and Odor Removing Additive
This detergent is highly effective both in cold and hot water. No matter which washing cycle you choose for your clothes, it will do its job well and remove all stains. The detergent is also great for brightening whites and preserving colors, especially when it comes to cotton.
- REMOVES LAUNDRY STAINS & ODORS: Add to wash loads along...
- WHITENS & BRIGHTENS: Safe to use in every wash load –...
- BREAKS DOWN STAINS: The phosphate-free cleaning system...
- WHERE TO USE: Perfect for use on clothing, pet beds and...
The detergent uses phosphate-free enzymes which can break down just about anything, even the most stubborn of grease stains. Apart from removing dirt, it also works great on odors, so your laundry will feel and smell clean. This detergent does not produce suds, meaning that you can safely use it in a HE washer.
What Nature’s Miracle detergent is famous for is the fact that it can remove stains that are weeks or even months old. So, if you’ve been trying to remove an oil stain and nothing seems to be working, give this a try. Chances are it will be exactly what you need.
10. Tide Plus Bleach Powder Laundry Detergent
If you’re into powder detergents, Tide’s Bleach Powder is another great choice. As its name suggests, it contains bleach, which is why it can remove even the most stubborn of grease stains. However, the bleach is fully color-safe.
- Tide Plus Bleach powder detergent brightens your whites...
- Using active enzymes, Tide Plus Bleach breaks down...
- The cleaning power you love, with a great new look.
- Tide Plus Bleach reduces chlorine in the water, which...
So, you can wash any type of material with this powder, and it will remain in pristine condition. What’s more, the detergent will help brighten your whites and keep your colored laundry looking shiny and new.
This detergent works well with any type of washer, and it is formulated to reduce pipe clogging, no matter how many times you use it. The powder dissolves in both cold and hot water, meaning that you can use it with any washing cycle.
When it comes to the price, this option is one of the more affordable ones. You will have to pay around 24 cents per load of laundry, which is more than acceptable for most budgets.
To Sum Up
Since grease and oil stains are some of the hardest to get out of laundry, finding the best detergent to help you is pivotal for running a household. The factors that you need to consider are the type of oil or grease that caused the stain, which fabric the stain is on, and the type of washer you have. In addition, you need to decide whether you prefer liquid detergents, pods, powders, or stripes.
Hopefully, our list of ten suggestions above helps you pick the detergent you should get based on your needs and preferences. Good luck getting each and every one of those pesky stains out of your clothes!